Venture capital-backed financial technology companies raised a record $39.57 billion from investors globally in 2018, up 120 percent from the previous year, according to research by data provider CB Insights published on Tuesday.
Funding was raised through 1,707 deals, up from 1,480 in 2017, the research said.
The surge in funding was due in large part to 52 mega-rounds, or investments larger than $100 million, which were worth $24.88 billion combined, the research said.
A $14 billion investment in Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, accounted for 35 percent of total fintech funding alone last year, the research said.
In the last three months of the year, five companies joined the coveted ranks of fintech “unicorns”, or companies valued at more than $1 billion. These include credit card provider Brex, digital bank Monzo and data aggregator Plaid.